By Darla Shelden
City Sentinel Reporter
The YWCA Oklahoma City’s 7th annual 2 Minute 5K and Kiddie K will be held on Saturday, April 18 starting at 8 a.m. at Stars and Stripes Park, 3701 South Lake Hefner Drive and North Portland Avenue. The event is an annual run to align with April, Sexual Assault Awareness (SAAM) month.
The event will raise awareness and funds for YWCA programs assisting victims in the metro Oklahoma City area.
“Every 2 minutes someone in the United States is sexually assaulted,” said Janet L. Peery, CEO of the YWCA Oklahoma City.
“The 2 Minute 5K and Kiddie K is an opportunity for our community to come together to spread awareness about the serious issue of sexual assault in our nation while participating in an exciting event.”
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, sexual violence is a serious public health problem that affects millions of women and men. In the United States, 1 in 5 women and 1 in 71 men have been raped in their lifetime and nearly 1 in 2 women and 1 in 5 men have experienced other forms of sexual violence at some point in their lives.
Along with the 5K and Kiddie K, this year YWCA OKC will host Snooze for SAAM, a social media recognition event. It allows people to support the cause of ending sexual assault in the community, receive the 2 Minute 5K shirt, and still sleep in on the day of the race.
Snooze participants can even register with teams who are competing on race-day at a discounted rate.
For those participating in the Snooze, the Y requests that you tweet, facebook, instagram, or any social media site of choice about the event with the hashtag #SnoozeForSAAM.
After the race, participants will divide their racing minutes by two – this number will reflect how many people were potentially assaulted within the time it took them to run the 5K.
“We want participants to leave with a sense of what is happening around us in our community,” said Karla Docter, Senior Director of Sexual Assault Services. “We hope the runners learn how they can further help raise awareness in our community.”
All the 2 Minute 5K and Kiddie K proceeds benefit the YWCA’s efforts to help victims of sexual assault, including the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) program, hospital advocacy and prevention education programs.
The YWCA’s SANE program trains and coordinates volunteer nurses who meet sexual assault victims at the hospital to assess medical needs and provide a forensic exam. YWCA volunteer hospital advocates provide emotional support and resources for victims during and after the exams.
The YWCA-OKC is also sponsoring the Spoken Word Open Mic Night at Sauced on Paseo, 2912 Paseo, in Oklahoma City on April 30, from 7 – 10 p.m. Artists are welcome to read an original/published uplifting poem, perform a musical expression or just come out and be a part of the audience. For more information, contact Rachele Eskridge at [email protected]
Dedicated to eliminating racism, empowering women and promoting peace, justice and dignity for all, the YWCA OKC is best known for being the only shelter for battered women and children in Oklahoma County.
Nearly 3,000 women, children and men receive help through YWCA programs, including emergency shelter for battered women and children, counseling, support groups, child care, transitional housing, financial literacy, batterer’s intervention and other services.
Runners and walkers can register online. Pre-registration cost is $25 for the 5K, $35 day of race; $15 for the Kiddie K, $20 day of race; and $20 registration for Snooze for SAAM.
Participants can register as a team or individual and set up a personal fundraising webpage. Race day registration for the 2 Minute 5K will be from 7-8 a.m. Kiddie K race begins at 8 a.m. followed by the 5K race at 8:30 a.m. For more information, visit www.ywcaokc.org.